Now that we set forth in a previous blog the difference between legalism and spiritual discipline there should be an understanding that these things are NOT legalistic if they are done properly. If you do these things because you love God and want to please Him (If you love Me, keep My commandments) then you are using spiritual discipline and this is pleasing to God.
In the previous blog of Part 2, the Bible gave us a list of things that older women are supposed to be teaching younger women and I would like to look at that. There is also Part 1 of the Older Women series that if you haven’t read would be very good to read as it sets the background.
The first thing we want to look at is LOVE YOUR HUSBAND! OUCH! This can be very difficult and confusing! We hear, from the world, that you should love and take care of NUMBER 1 (yourself) and then you’ll be able to take care of others. Our example (our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) showed forth a different attitude then the worldly one. We should be following His example and He came to this earth to minister to others and not to be ministered to. This is so contrary to our culture and the attitude even of most Christians. “I’m not your servant!” is the response of most people when asked to do something. Let’s all be honest and admit that we have all done this at one time or another especially when we feel it is demeaning to our pride!
Philippians 2:3-4 gives us this clue, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” This is called “loving others as yourself.”
Ok, now that we’ve established the responsibility of being a servant to others, let us now look at how that affects our attitudes towards our OWN husband! It is important that every woman realize that your love is directed towards your own husband. That love should NOT be directed at someone else’s husband. It’s not always easy to do because we are such a selfish people and we want our way. The responsibility of a wife is very important and there are some verses that talk about wives. Sometimes it can be so difficult because our feelings get in the way but we MUST remember that feelings or no we should be doing what is right IN GOD’S EYES no matter what! This means if your husband irritates you, don’t respond in anger and hatred towards him, respond with a loving attitude towards him.
I can’t do that! you might be thinking in your mind. He irritates me ALL the time! You CAN do that because you are the one that has to respond in one way or another! Respond with a loving attitude even if you are feeling out of sorts with your husband. It is very important to remember that how you respond is very important. It’s easier to ask the Lord (quietly) to forgive you for an attitude and there is less hurt involved but if you respond in an angry fashion towards your husband then the hurt stays with him for quite a while.
The loving your husband part comes in when you spend time praying for him, seeing to his needs, helping him out in any way possible, and showing forth a quiet and gentle heart! (1Peter 3:4).
Maybe you are concerned because you don’t have a saved husband and your home is filled with arguing and fighting constantly. 1 Peter 3:1-4 is clear on this issue that, if a wife has an unsaved husband, she can by her very life win him to the Lord.
That is not possible, you might be thinking. According to God’s Word it is very possible. Let’s read what 1 Peter says, “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
How in the world can I have a gentle and quiet spirit with MY husband? you may be wondering at this point. A gentle and quiet spirit comes from spending time with the Lord! Isn’t it amazing that everything we are commanded to do reminds us that we need to be spending time with the Lord? When you spend time with the Lord and build a proper relationship with Him then your relationship with everyone else will be right or you will make sure you seek forgiveness for what you have done wrong! There will be much time spent seeking the Lord’s forgiveness for ATTITUDES! What is in the heart will come out in the actions. If your heart is not right before the Lord then the actions will show what the attitude is to those around you.
If everything is based on your attitude it then becomes very important to make sure that you continually work on your attitude no matter what happens!
We will look at loving your children in Part 4 of Older Women Teaching Younger Women. Until then, let’s work on our attitudes towards the Lord and towards our husbands.